ZURICH -Travellers entering Switzerland who have not been vaccinated against COVID-19 or recovered from the virus will need to provide a negative test result from Monday, the government said on Friday, as it seeks to keep infections from spiking again.
“Infections are going down, but they remain at a high level – too high,” Health Minister Alain Berset told reporters on Friday, adding intensive care stations at Swiss hospitals remained highly occupied.
Infections and hospitalisations rose steeply following the summer break, and many of those who ended up in intensive care had returned from abroad, he added.
“We are now taking a view to autumn holidays,” Berset said, referring to a two-week school break in October.
All travellers, regardless of vaccination status, would also be required to fill out a form, while those needing to provide evidence that they are free of the disease should get a second test 4-7 days after entry.
Switzerland this week imposed a new requirement for people to show a COVID-status certificate to enter bars, restaurants and other indoor spaces and events, in a move to relieve pressure on hospitals struggling with a fourth wave of infections.
Berset renewed an appeal for individuals to get vaccinated.
Switzerland has recorded 823,000 infections and more than 10,000 deaths since the pandemic began, with 2,095 new infections and eight deaths recorded on Friday.
Vaccinations picked up this week as individuals have had to show proof of inoculation, recovery from infection or a negative test result to participate in many aspects of public life. So far, 61% of people have had at least one dose.
Also on Friday, the government said people vaccinated abroad with one of the jabs approved by the European Medicines Agency would also be able to request a Swiss certificate from Monday.